How to Improve Handling Next When You Are in Limbo
Monday, March 26, 2018 at 7:02AM
Linda Samuels in Mindfulness, Next Step, Seasons, breath, calm, decisions, focus, gratitude, habit, mindfulness, next, organizing, savor, transitions

Just like nature, we also go through seasons. Some seasons are filled with purpose, clarity, and direction. Other seasons are filled with uncertainty and doubt. There are seasonal transitions from cold to warm, from snow to rain, from gray to color, or from bare to bloom. It’s during these in between times that we can deeply feel like we’re in limbo. When that happens, next can feel murky.

So how can we improve how we handle next, especially when we’re in the uncertain mode? I have a few ideas, but I’d love to hear yours too.


Feel the Limbo

If you quiet yourself, see if you can identify where in your body the angst is felt. Do you sense a rumbling in your belly or butterflies swirling about? Do you feel tightness in your shoulders or jaw? Is your breath shallow? Is your head pounding with pressure? Where in your body is your limbo-state showing up? Notice it. Acknowledge it. Sit with it. Take some slow, deep breaths in and then out. As you exhale, see if you can soften the tension. Practicing mindfulness by getting in touch with how our body feels and helping it to relax, will make us more available for the present and for next.


Sip Some Tea

Slowing down to enjoy a cup of tea (or coffee, if you prefer) can be a kindness you give to yourself during this waiting time. Allow yourself to focus on making the tea. Watch the bubbles boil. Listen to the sound of pouring the water into your favorite mug. Notice the clear water turn darker as the tealeaves brew. Breathe in the aroma. Savor that first sip of warm tea as it enters your mouth, travels down your throat and to your belly. It’s as if you’re drinking a warm hug. Leisurely experience the tea-drinking ritual as you slowly calm yourself and prepare for next.


Exercise Some Patience

We can be so terribly hard on ourselves. Especially during transitions, we are often missing certain pieces that we need to make decisions. We have to wait a day or a week or a month or more.  And you know what? We don’t like to wait, do we? Remember that you won’t always be in limbo. Recall other times when you exercised patience to secure the outcome you desired. Remember that instant isn’t always possible or even desirable. Be patient. Have confidence that in time you will find the answers you need to figure out next.


Form a Habit

Sometimes we postpone doing something that’s good for us, while we’re waiting for next. However, we can use this transition time to form one new habit that will have positive life-affirming benefits. Think about something simple and achievable. Think about something that will make you feel healthier, happier, or more content. Think about one thing that you currently aren’t doing, but would be beneficial if you began. You could brush your teeth each morning and night. You could take a 15-minute walk each day. You could declutter one surface every day. You could write one sentence a day in a gratitude journal. You could meditate for 10 minutes a day. You could...


Do One Thing

One of the benefits of moving forward is that feeling of accomplishment or endorphin rush we experience when we get stuff done. And while it’s important to focus on doing things that matter for our larger goals, sometimes, it’s helpful to just do one thing. One and done. It’s not a regular or daily thing. It’s just one thing. That thing doesn’t have to be huge or complicated. It does need to be something that will lift your spirits. You’d be surprised how small the thing can be. Don’t underestimate the power of organizing your junk drawer, or filling up a bag of clothing to donate, or calling a friend you haven’t talked with in a while. Try it and let me know what happens. We can do one, small thing, which will promote positive feelings and help pave the way for next.

What helps you navigate through to next when you’re in limbo? I’d love to hear your thoughts. Come join the conversation!





Article originally appeared on The Other Side of Organized by Linda Samuels (
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